November 5, 2010

(Mostly) Veggie Casserole

As the holidays approach I am attempting to make smart choices with meals, since I'm pretty certain that I'll be indulging in quite a few sweets in the months to come.  I'm hoping it evens out somehow....hey a girl can dream can't she?

Anyway, I didn't really have a plan in mind when I went to the grocery store and bought a bunch of veggies.  I also didn't really have a plan in mind when I started cooking dinner; however the outcome was pretty darn good so I thought I'd share.  There are a couple of things I would do differently next time, and I'll share that too.

In this pot I poured about 2 Tbsp. EVOO.  (Extra Virgin Olive Oil).  I added some Pancetta, finely diced and brought it up to a nice sizzle.  Then I added one whole diced onion and cooked until it began so soften.  To this I added 2 cloves of minced garlic, and 2 large peeled russet potato's - diced.  I let this mixture cook for about 10 minutes to give the potatoes a head start. 

Here's where I also turned my oven on to 350 degrees.

**Next time I will use regular ol' bacon cut up into chunks.  The Pancetta got overwhelmed in here with all these veggies. Depending on how much you like bacon, you could also just omit this ingredient.

This is the point where I turned off the heat, and started to add layers.  I added salt and pepper and shredded Parmesan cheese on top of each layer.

This is the yellow zucchini layer (or yellow squash) whatever you want to call it.  I added two small sized yellow zucchini.

**here's one more step I would make a change next time.  I think cutting these cubed like would be easier to eat.

The layers can be any veggie you like, but I used Yellow Zucchini, Regular Zucchini, Mushrooms and tomatoes and topped it all off with more salt & pepper & cheese.

Oh, I also squeezed the tomatoes before cutting them to get the juices out and I'm so glad I did or this would have been way to soupy.

I cooked this for 45 minutes with the lid on, then took the lid off and cooked for 15 more minutes.

Then - I added more cheese.  I can't help myself.  It didn't look like it had enough fat in it so I added some.  I must be stopped.

This was really really good, and you can see there was still juice at the bottom of the dish.  If you want even more juice then don't squeeze one or two of the tomatoes.  That juice was really yummy sopped up with a piece of bread. Just sayin.

Here's what I did:
2 Tbsp EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil).
1 pkg. Pancetta (pre-diced) - next time I'll use bacon, probably half a regular sized package and just dice it up.
1 medium onion - diced
2 cloves garlic - minced
2 large potatoes - peeled, diced.
1 cups of grated Parmesan (or more if you like) - divided
2 small yellow zucchini - diced into the same size bites as the potatoes (I sliced them in the recipe but it was harder to eat this way)
2 small or one large regular green zucchini - diced.
3 regular tomatoes - squeezed so the seeds come out, then diced
1 container of button mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 350.

Put the EVOO in the bottom of a large oven safe pot and turn the heat on to Medium.  Add the Pancetta (or bacon) and cook until crispy.  Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes.  Next, add the garlic and potatoes and cook for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes start to get slightly tender. 
Turn off the heat.
Add about 1/4 cup of the grated Parmesan Cheese and a little Salt and Pepper.
Top with a layer of Yellow Squash, add another 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, a little salt and pepper.
Layer on the green Zucchini with more cheese, and a little salt and pepper.
The top layer I mixed the mushrooms and the tomatoes, then added the rest of the cheese and a little more salt and pepper.
Bake with the cover on for about 45 minutes, then remove the cover and bake for about 15 more minutes.
Serve with some nice bakery bread of your choice.

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